System Of Success

Ab Stanley

What’s in a resume? It’s most likely your name, address, personal information, references and a small run down of your skills. There’s also another part that says “work history” which is where everything you’ve ever done is jotted down to show your potential worth. The Hall of Fame in every sport has its members scour through several resumes every year looking for the perfect candidates to represent them.

There will be a time in the future when the names Tom Brady and Tim Duncan will come up on the list. A resume that wreaks of greatness, both players should be shoe-ins for the Hall of Fame. The funny thing is a vast majority of people will point to them being “system players”. I don’t know if that’s as insulting as it was meant to be, especially when you consider how the system was created.

It’s just “the system”! That’s the usual talk from folks just trying to diminish these guys accolades. Sure Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots and Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs follow a …. system the beginning of which started with these two giants of industry. Since the turn of the century (the year 2000), these teams are a staple for dominance. Duncan and Brady was given every opportunity to win and usually took them far. What’s good for the actual system is what matters.

One day you can be a part of the solution helping the system run smooth. Players like wide receiver Randy Moss and defensive end Richard Seymour have plenty of personal accolades and even broken records. They are merely plugged in and play-guys in “the system” but easily dismissed when no longer needed. In the same token, guys like small forward Glenn Robinson and shooting guard Michael Finley were bigger parts of other franchises but were delegated to a fourth or fifth option in “the system”.

Shrewd would be an understatement when dealing with these head coaches. Nothing is worth too much or enough until that part of this special system breaks down. These coaches seem to have the ability to find guys off the street and turn them into starters or at least key contributors (“the system” works). Would Brady or Duncan be this great without it is the question.

Sure the Spurs have continued thier success after Duncan’s retirement. We also remember Brady missing a season while his backup quarterback Matt Cassel led the Patriots to an 11-5 record. Well it remains to be seen if the Spurs will make a deep playoff run without Duncan. Plus, nobody seems to remember that the 11-5 Cassel season was a five game drop-off from the previous season and it resulted in New England missing the playoffs.

The real truth is “the system” and it was built off the strength of their greatness. There is no Belichick system without Brady. There is no Popovich way of life without Duncan. These players fuel it with their steady play and almost herculean effort during big games. You can’t find a losing season throughout either career.

Duncan and Popovich have never missed the playoffs as a tandem. Brady and Belichick could almost say the same outside of the 2002 and 2008 season when Brady suffered a season ending knee injury in the first game (see Matt Cassell). Brady has five championships in seven tries, Duncan has five championships in six. Basically, if you play against Brady or Duncan in a Finals or final game, your expectations should be a loss. If you think they are just following “the system” you may be right …… it’s all about success and these pillars of greatness are the catalysts.

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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